Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why I Make the Bed

BFF Kathy stated in a recent facebook update how lucky she feels to be with her husband, and how that realization hit her like lightning, recently (even though she has been with him for twenty-five years).
I feel the same way about Domestic Partner.

Sometimes friends ask why Domestic Partner and I are together. Other than being Japanese we are nothing alike. He is practical and introverted, and he keeps a clean house. I am impulsive, overly chatty, and naturally untidy. He has amazing landscaping skills for our home's exterior and creative, tasteful design skills for the interior.

I have about two hundred Furbies staring at you from the bookshelves in our home's office. That was my contribution to the home decor.

Domestic Partner wishes I did more house cleaning on a regular basis. I wish he would be more physically affectionate. But he is pretty good about just letting me be who I am, so I have stopped wasting time wanting him to be someone different.

Recently, I went over my financial goals with him. Once my student loans are paid off, I told him, then I can start paying part of the mortgage each month.

"Don't pay the mortgage," he said. "Put your money in a separate retirement fund so we can eventually buy a place in Hawaii for our old age."

Okay! I am on board with that.

I have told Domestic Partner from the beginning that my goal is to spend retirement in Hawaii, at least part of every year. The idea didn't appeal to him when I had first told him, but we hadn't been together for very long at that point. He must have grown into the idea.

I get medical and dental benefits through Domestic Partner's job. I live a comfortable lifestyle because of his income, not mine. The last time we had a fight, I pointed out that I would not have even gone back to college if we weren't together, emphasizing the fact that being with him is good for me.

If I weren't with Domestic Partner, I might still be trying to work on cruise ships and in Japan as long as people were still willing to hire me. My pending future and retirement might be pathetic, even more than it already is, if it weren't for having him in my life.

He is also kind to our two pugs. To me, that is reason enough to stay with a guy and try to work things through with him. His kindness to our pets helps me to see more objectively his kindness to me, and I need to make more effort to reciprocate, even if only in small ways.

Usually, I don't make the bed before I leave for work, even though it only takes about a minute. Recently, though, I have been trying to do so more often, sometimes even on a daily basis.

It's a small enough first step to reinforce the good life that I share with Domestic Partner. Maybe I'll even scrub a toilet tonight.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Love Letter to My 17-year-old Self

(note: the following is not an attempt at neo-self-therapy . . . well, maybe it is. You decide)

Dear 17-year-old Self,

First of all, I love you. You are valuable to me. The memories you're creating at this time in your life will keep you happy for years to come (and they will come in handy for exploitation and fledgling writing material), so enjoy! Remember all the times you go club dancing at Grand Central Station, and at Cloud Nine in Knott's Berry Farm. Cherish your last year as a band geek and as a drama dork. Never mind that you didn't get to try out as a cheerleader.

You know that vague and fuzzy future of yours that you're always worrying about? Don't worry about it. Everything will work out. They will not work out smoothly, but you will always be okay, eventually. Stop stressing about college and what happens after. In a couple of years it won't matter.

Speaking of college, you will eventually realize that you should not believe everything you are told. Winding up at a Cal State University because you have less than a 4.0 GPA is not a bad thing. And going to junior college is not academic suicide.

Pay attention to that desire to dance and sing and act and perform. It's not unrealistic and it's not shameful. It will not happen for you as soon as you like, but you will get to perform, and you will love it more than anything in life.

There is so much I want to try to reassure you about, such as your secret feelings for guys. Don't stress or worry about that, either. It will take over a dozen years before you have peace of mind about that, and it will get a lot harder before it gets easier. But I promise you that it will not always be hard.

Try to remember me, your Future Self, when you can. Reach and grow toward me, in your mind and in your heart. I am here, loving you and waiting for you.

And I'm just the in between stop in my own here-and-now. Trust me when I say that there is an even older version of you yet to come, an older Future Self and also amazing things-yet-to-happen that neither you nor I can even imagine right now - I just know it!

Hang onto hope. Stay optimistic. Never stop dreaming or creating or imagining, even on your worst days. Allow some time now and then to let yourself feel hurt (you'll need it) but don't wallow for too long. Embrace it, try to process it, and move on, because you'll always be able to.

Whenever you're feeling insecure, inferior, or even just a little uncertain, try to remember that your Future Self loves you. Never forget that.

I love you. Always.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Way You Dance

I love facebook. I love how easily it helps to answer the question "What ever happened to . . . ?" Sometimes I wonder what Brent G. is up to.

Brent is a boy I had met in the 80's while out dancing one night. I had ridden into Hollywood with a few friends to the bar called "Peanuts." It was supposed to be a lesbian bar but it was more of a mixed crowd on the night we went. Brent was there that night, dancing by himself.

I loved his confidence and his style. His all-black outfit included a beret and a pair of gloves. I loved that he had the creativity to dress differently and the courage to dance alone in public. It was as if the Gogo's had written that song for him:

The way you dance, you move in self-romance
And you don't see me watch the way you dance
Your eyes close in a trance, so you don't see me watching

Fortunately, Brent did see me. I can't remember how I started talking to him. I was just happy that I got to dance with this boy I admired. What I do remember is the sweet kisses we shared later. I was 21 then and Brent was a little younger.

Brent and I had kept in touch after meeting that night but it was difficult getting together again. Neither of us had a car. I was getting around Orange County on a Vespa scooter back then. Brent, unbelievably, was riding the city buses to go out at night. I was impressed. He was that dedicated a club kid!

I have searched for Brent on facebook. Typing in his first and last names yields only one result, so I'm pretty sure it's him, even if there is no accompanying photo.

I have not friend requested him. After thinking about it, I decided that Brent is one fond memory I would like to keep as is, including the way he danced.